A Gigantic Gold Coin Makes Its Way to Wall Street

Perth Mint creates a $45 million dollar gold coin

Australian chunk of change weighs a metric ton and is worth about $45 million

By Asjylyn Loder

Updated July 16, 2019 4:12 pm ET

Richard Hayes left a $45 million coin on the streets of Manhattan all day Tuesday, but he wasn’t particularly worried about a thief carting it off.

The coin—with Queen Elizabeth’s profile pressed onto one side and a mid-hop kangaroo on the other—is beyond the wiles of the average pickpocket. It measures nearly 32 inches in diameter and is almost 5 inches thick.

Oh, and it weighs about 2,200 pounds. (That is more than 32,000 troy ounces, for the precious-metals buffs out there.)

Mr. Hayes is the chief executive of the Perth Mint, one of the world’s largest gold refiners. He flew to the U.S. from Australia with the world’s largest gold coin in tow, on a publicity tour for his exchange-traded fund.

What people don’t understand about gold, Mr. Hayes says, is how much it weighs—probably because Hollywood gets it so wrong. A cubic foot of iron weighs about 491 pounds. The same volume of gold tips the scales at 1,206 pounds.

To put that in perspective, the reinforced Mini Coopers that were packed with gold bars in the 2003 remake of “The Italian Job” would have tipped over backward, Mr. Hayes says. “The back springs would collapse. It doesn’t take a lot of gold to build up to a ton.”

But the plotline wouldn’t have gotten that far in the first place, he noted, because master-thief-apprentice Mark Wahlberg, steering a submersible stacked with gold, would have sunk to the bottom of a Venice canal in the opening sequence. (Paramount Pictures didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

The price of gold surged to a six-year high this month and stood at $1,411.20 a troy ounce as of Tuesday. Its run-up since the end of May has added about $3.3 million to the value of the giant coin, if it were to be sold simply for its weight in gold. The coin is visiting the Big Apple to publicize the Perth Mint’s year-old gold exchange-traded fund. More than $52 billion is currently parked in U.S. ETFs backed by gold bars stored in bank vaults, but just $133 million is in Perth’s ETF. Perth wants a larger slice of that business, and its pitch is that it is the only gold ETF backed up by a government-guaranteed mint.

Though theft would be difficult, Mr. Hayes declined to talk about security measures in place for the coin’s visit. There are instances of these types of things being stolen.

One of the six Big Maple Leaf coins made by the Royal Canadian Mint was lent to a Berlin museum in 2017, where it was promptly swiped. The heist made “Ocean’s 11” look way too complex: These thieves climbed a ladder, forced open a window, smashed the security case and rolled away the 221-pound coin in a wheelbarrow. Four men, including a museum guard, were arrested several months later, but the coin was never recovered.

Alex Reeves, senior manager of public affairs at the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa, points out that Perth’s coin may be the largest, but Canada boasts the purest. The Royal Canadian Mint refines gold to “five-nines” purity, meaning 99.999% gold. Perth says its big coin is four-nines, or 99.99%.

“It’s still pure gold, but it’s not as pure as ours is,” Mr. Reeves said.

A gold coin weighing more than 2,000 pounds is displayed in front of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday. PHOTO: CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

When it came to bringing the big coin to New York—it traveled via commercial airliner—and displaying it on a pedestal at the corner of Wall and Broad streets, Mr. Hayes was much more worried about damage. The densely packed atoms of gold slide past each other easily, making the metal quite soft. His team made a practice run last week, hoisting the coin from its steel crate using a custom-made nylon and Kevlar sling and—very gently—lowering it onto its custom-made plinth.

The malleability is what makes it so difficult to mint a coin this size. That is why no other refiner has matched Perth’s feat in the eight years since they poured the big Roo, as kangaroo-printed coins are affectionately called.

The Perth Mint is one of the largest refiners in the world, turning 300 metric tons of gold into coins and bullion bars every year. The mint is government-owned and issues legal-tender bullion and commemorative coins, but not currency.

The Royal Canadian Mint produces circulating currency in addition to collectibles, like an egg-shaped painted silver coin that glows in the dark, to commemorate the 1967 Falcon Lake Incident, which the mint calls “one of Canada’s most famous UFO encounters.” They have no immediate plans to try to beat Perth with a bigger coin, Mr. Reeves said.

“The enormous cost and time to cast that amount of metal and do it properly is just not worthwhile,” Mr. Reeves said. “Clearly the Perth Mint has proven that it’s possible, but we’re satisfied with our level of achievement.”

The coin, shown in Lower Manhattan, has a kangaroo on one side and Queen Elizabeth’s profile on the other.  PHOTO: CLAUDIO PAPAPIETRO FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Write to Asjylyn Loder at asjylyn.loder@wsj.com

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Palladium breaks $1,500 barrier for first time; gold rises

Palladium price broke records

Palladium jumped above the $1,500 per ounce mark for the first time on Wednesday, propelled by a stark supply deficit, while gold hit a 10-month high on a weaker dollar as investors awaited cues on U.S. monetary policy. Spot palladium, which traded as high as $1,502 per ounce, was up 0.74 percent at $1,490.50 at

Future Currency—Gold And Silver?

Could Gold and Silver become the Currency of the Future?

By Jeff Thomas

Future Currency-Gold and Silver?

In 1971, the US went off the gold standard, which meant that it no longer had the responsibility to redeem its banknotes for real money-i.e., precious metals. It also meant that, as long as it could get people to accept the essentially worthless bank notes as currency, they could print as much as they liked. They took full advantage of this fact and transformed the US from the world’s greatest creditor nation into the world’s greatest debtor nation in under forty years.

The rest of the world followed this extraordinarily bad example and, as a result, no nation is now on a gold standard and all nations are in debt, many of them beyond redemption.

Today, the chickens are about to come home to roost in the form of a worldwide economic crisis. Some countries—particularly in Asia—are preparing for the debacle by loading up on gold, so that when the collapse comes they’ll be able to float gold-backed currencies that will allow trade to continue.

Interestingly though, some countries are pursuing this wise move on a non-national level. The US in particular has, in recent years, seen several of its states pass laws allowing precious metals to once again be used as currency.

The most interesting of these developments took place in Wyoming recently, where the Wyoming Legal Tender Act (WLTA) has removed all forms of state taxation on gold and silver coins and bullion, and reinstates precious metals as currency.

The act stipulates that transactions made in gold and silver, “shall not give rise to any tax liability of any kind.” And yes, this is intended to include income tax, property tax, capital gains, and sales tax.

Wyoming is not the first state to reinstate the use of precious metals as currency. Arizona and Utah have also declared precious metals free of income tax, and more than thirty-five states have declared gold and silver free from sales tax. (Precious metals are free from any form of taxation in only four states-Wyoming, Oregon, Texas, and South Dakota.)

But, will the citizens of these states actually choose to transact purchases in gold and silver, when paper money is so handy?

Well, they should, and for the best of reasons—they’ll have to hand over less of their money to state governments. If, for example, someone were to pay for a new car in gold, he would not have to pay the state an additional 4%. (Some municipalities charge 6%.) This is quite an incentive.

But that, of course, would not put precious metals into every pocket in Wyoming. What would achieve that would be smaller purchases, such as a bag of groceries, or a tankful of fuel for the car. Paying with coins would most certainly be more of a nuisance than paying with bank notes, but the prospect of trimming 4–6% off every bill would mean that paying in gold and silver might well become the norm for those who value frugality.

So, what has been the motivation for bringing back the “barbarous relic?”

In House hearings for the bill, the Sound Money Defense League’s Jp Cortez stated:

With the abuses of the Federal Reserve’s paper money system becoming increasingly obvious, we’re seeing more legislators across America advance sound money legislation.

Stefan Gleason, president of Money Metals Exchange, stated in support of the bill:

In reality, Federal Reserve Notes are “fake money” because they have counterparty risk. Restoring gold and silver as money will solve many of the problems we are seeing with inflation and runaway debt.

More pointedly, when Arizona was dealing with its own bill on taxation of precious metals, then Representative Ron Paul said, “We ought not to tax money… It makes no sense to tax money… Paper is not money, it’s fraud.”

Clearly, legislators in each state that’s created similar legislation recognize that the Federal government is nearing the crisis stage and are hoping that they can avoid going down with the ship. By having precious metals in place before a collapse, they potentially provide their states with an insurance policy that will allow them to continue to make transactions at all levels, regardless of the machinations of Washington and the central banks.

In discussing the Wyoming Act with a colleague who’s a noted writer and advisor on precious metals, his first reaction to me was, “What do they mean by coinage? If they mean coins that have a face value stated on them, and that face value must be recognized as the value of the coins, there’s no chance that this will solve the problem.”

An excellent point. But closer inspection of the act confirms that specie is defined as “having gold or silver content, or refined bullion, coined, stamped or imprinted with its weight and purity.” A stated denomination is not relevant, nor is it a requirement.

That being the case, a Canadian maple leaf would be as acceptable as an American eagle. And a Mexican libertad, which has no denomination on its face, only a weight, would be just as acceptable for use in transactions.

Under the US Constitution, “No state shall… make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” Therefore, it would be difficult for the Federal Government to make a case that states should be forced to repeal any law allowing gold and silver as currency, and this may well be why the central government has not yet created significant pushback against the trend toward states’ rights to use precious metals.

They cannot, however, be pleased at this development, at a time when they themselves are supporting the central banks’ initiative to do away with physical currency of any kind—to enslave the American people to bank-generated electronic transactions for virtually all purposes.

If all those states where gold and silver has been reinstated as money were to begin using precious metals on a regular basis, as they are indeed incentivized to do through these laws, it would effectively end the federal monopoly on money… and quite possibly derail the central banks’ effort to do away with cash.

So, why then, has a movement not begun in the over thirty-five states where some form of legislation has been passed to reinstate the use of silver and gold as money?

It may be that the average guy on the street doesn’t really understand how precious such legislation is to him. Possibly, even though the average American no longer trusts his central government, nor the banks, he is too complacent to act on his own predicament.

If this is the case, we can certainly expect that when the debt crisis hits him full-force, he will belatedly say, “Somebody do something,” as he finds that he’s unable to function normally when buying groceries or filling up the tank in his car.

If the individual states do not, by that time, have real money in place and in common use, the average American will find himself in a similar situation as the average Greek today—at the mercy of his bankers as to how much of his money he actually has access to.

Source: InternationalMan.com

China Prepares Death Blow to the Dollar

Petrodollar’s Downfall could Rise the Gold Price

By ZeroHedge.com | Originally Published March 24, 2018, 12:00 PM CDT

China Prepares Death Blow to the Dollar

On March 26 China will finally launch a yuan-dominated oil futures contract. Over the last decade there have been a number of “false-starts,” but this time the contract has gotten approval from China’s State Council.

With that approval, the “petroyuan” will become real and China will set out to challenge the “petrodollar” for dominance. Adam Levinson, managing partner and chief investment officer at hedge fund manager Graticule Asset Management Asia (GAMA), already warned last year that China launching a yuan-denominated oil futures contract will shock those investors who have not been paying attention.

This could be a death blow for an already weakening U.S. dollar, and the rise of the yuan as the dominant world currency.

But this isn’t just some slow, news day “fad” that will fizzle in a few days.

A Warning for Investors Since 2015

Back in 2015, the first of a number of strikes against the petrodollar was dealt by China. Gazprom Neft, the third-largest oil producer in Russia, decided to move away from the dollar and towards the yuan and other Asian currencies.

Iran followed suit the same year, using the yuan with a host of other foreign currencies in trade, including Iranian oil.

During the same year, China also developed its Silk Road, while the yuan was beginning to establish more dominance in the European markets.

But the U.S. petrodollar still had a fighting chance in 2015 because China’s oil imports were all over the place. Back then, Nick Cunningham of OilPrice.com wrote

Despite accounting for much of the world’s growth in demand in the 21st Century, China’s oil imports have been all over the map in recent months. In April, China imported 7.4 million barrels per day, a record high and enough to make it the world’s largest oil importer. But a month later, imports plummeted to just 5.5 million barrels per day.

That problem has since gone away, signaling China’s rise to oil dominance…

The Slippery Slope to the Petroyuan Begins Here

The petrodollar is backed by Treasuries, so it can help fuel U.S. deficit spending. Take that away, and the U.S. is in trouble.

It looks like that time has come…

China Prepares Death Blow to the Dollar

A death blow that began in 2015 hit again in 2017 when China became the world’s largest consumer of imported crude

Now that China is the world’s leading consumer of oil, Beijing can exert some real leverage over Saudi Arabia to pay for crude in yuan. It’s suspected that this is what’s motivating Chinese officials to make a full-fledged effort to renegotiate their trade deal.

So fast-forward to now, and the final blow to the petrodollar could happen starting on March 26. We hinted at this possibility back in September 2017

With major oil exporters finally having a viable way to circumvent the petrodollar system, the U.S. economy could soon encounter severely troubled waters.

First of all, the dollar’s value depends massively on its use as an oil trade vehicle. When that goes away, we will likely see a strong and steady decline in the dollar’s value.Related: China’s Gas Storage Capacity Can’t Keep Up With Demand Growth

Once the oil markets are upended, the yuan has an opportunity to become the dominant world currency overall. This will further weaken the dollar.

The Petrodollar’s Downfall Could be a Lift for Gold

Amongst all the trouble ahead for the dollar, there is some good news too. The U.S. might have ditched the gold standard in the 1970’s, but with gold making a return to world headlines… we could see a resurgence.

For the first time since our nation abandoned the gold standard decades ago, physical gold is being reintroduced to the global monetary system in a major way. That alone is incredibly good news for gold owners.

A reintroduction of gold to the global economy could result in a notable rise in gold prices. It’s safe to assume exporters are more likely to choose a gold-backed financial instrument over one created out of thin air any day of the week.

Soon after, we could see more and more nations jump on the bandwagon, resulting in a substantial rise in gold prices.

GOLD HITS A 6-WEEK HIGH, ON A LIFT FROM WEAKER DOLLAR

Gold Hits 6 Week High

* U.S. dollar falls to two-month low

* Fed Chair nominee to appear in Congress this week

* Technical indicators suggest gold to keep rising

(New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments; adds second byline and NEW YORK dateline) By Renita D. Young and Peter Hobson NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Gold prices rose on Monday, buoyed by a weaker dollar, as investors looked ahead to congressional testimony by the nominee to chair the U.S. Federal Reserve and a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans on tax reform.

Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,294.44 an ounce by 1:36 p.m. EST (1836 GMT), after hitting $1,299.13, its highest since Oct. 16. U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up $7.10, or 0.6 percent, at $1,294.40 per ounce. “We’ve seen a fairly firm recovery underpinned by a weaker dollar and some data readings from the U.S. and elsewhere that called into question the sustainability of growth,” said Mitsubishi analyst Jon Butler.

Last week, U.S. PMI and capital goods data missed expectations, pressuring the dollar which slid to its weakest in two months. A weaker dollar can stimulate demand for gold, making the precious metal cheaper for holders of other currencies. Also weighing on the dollar were the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting, showing policymakers were concerned about low inflation and could be wary of raising interest rates rapidly.

“It’s fairly safe to say markets are not all that convinced that we’ll get as many rate hikes as some people are speculating,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates because they tend to strengthen the dollar and push U.S. bond yields higher, reducing the appeal of non-yielding bullion. Jerome Powell, the nominee to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair next year, is due to appear before Congress on Tuesday.

“This confirmation hearing might be seen as a risk-on environment; a positive for gold,” said Josh Graves, senior commodities strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. Also on Tuesday, Trump will meet with Senate Republicans to discuss tax reform legislation that could accelerate U.S. economic growth.

“If we see finally some sort of movement in this area, that could reignite the ‘Trumpflation’ trade, risk assets could go to the races and we could see a pullback in gold as a risk hedge,” Mitsubishi’s Butler said.

On the technical side, gold broke through fibonacci resistance at $1,295.40 and momentum indicators suggested that gold prices would continue to rise, ScotiaMocatta analysts said in a note.

Gold options on the December contract were set to expire on Monday. Among other precious metal prices, silver was up 0.5 percent at $17.06 an ounce, platinum advanced 0.6 percent at $945.65 and palladium was up 0.9 percent at $1,006.25.

(Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio and David Goodman)